BURNIE GIRLS ARE CHAMPS
Top-flight football looms for unbeaten side
Blackburn United Ladies sealed the SWFL Division Two Central title in style as they ended the season unbeaten.
Kirst Frew’s early strike at home to Motherwell Development was enough to grab the victory – their 21st in 22 league games as they finished the campaign three points ahead of Airdrie.
The victory not only ensured promotion to Division One for the 2018 season but completed a league and cup double with the Burnie having clinched the Division Two League Cup earlier in the season with a dramatic extra-time triumph over Bayside.
It ended a stunning season for the New Murrayfield Park outfit whose only dropped points came in a 1-1 draw with Airdrie in August.
Head coach Connor McCloskey was full of pride for his players and is already setting his sights on a successful campaign in Division One next year.
He said: “The team have had a magnificent 2017 season managing to go unbeaten in the league and also winning the League Cup as well.
“We set ourselves four goals at the start of the year and have managed to hit all four.
“We had some tricky ties and were pushed all the way by a very good Airdrie side.
“They were constantly only three points behind us and that really drove us forward knowing we had to continue fighting and winning every week.
“I have been coaching for 11 years and this is the best squad I have worked with, not only in terms of ability, they gave me everything in every game and they all hate to lose which is a great trait to have.
“We have started our recruitment process already and are identifying targets for 2018 and we’ll be working flat out to get the best squad possible for the start of the 2018 season.
“Yes, we’ll be the new team in a very tough league but we’ll continue as we have been and give it everything we’ve got in every game.”
Three other West Lothian sides competed in Division Two Central this term with debutants Linlithgow Rose showing great form in the second half of the season to finish in fifth place.
They ended the year with a 9-2 victory away at Hawick United.
Meanwhile, Murieston United, returning to the senior ranks, and Broxburn Athletic Colts ending the campaign in eighth and ninth spots respectively.
Party time Blackburn United Ladies celebrate their title triumph